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UConn women cruise into Final Four over Aggies

04/01/2014 12:12 AM ET
By The Associated Press

Connecticut's Stephanie Dolson smiles during her team's victory on Monday.(AP)
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Music City is the next stop for a Connecticut women's team that just keeps humming along in search of a record ninth national championship.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis continued her splendid run through the NCAA tournament with 17 points, and UConn advanced to the women's Final Four for the seventh straight year with a 69-54 victory against Texas A&M on Monday night.

The defending national champion Huskies (38-0) won their 44th straight game. Their semifinal opponent Sunday in Nashville will be either Stanford or North Carolina.

Stefanie Dolson, who made her 150th career start to tie the NCAA record, had 14 points and 10 rebounds and blocked a career-high eight shots. Bria Hartley had 14 points, Breanna Stewart added 13 and Moriah Jefferson 11.

Courtney Walker led Texas A&M (27-9) with 14 points. Courtney Williams had 13 and Jordan Jones 12.

Mosqueda-Lewis, an All-American last year who missed a total of 12 games this season because of injury or illness, turned in another great performance and was named the regional's most outstanding player.

She had a triple-double against Saint Joseph's in the second round and 19 points and 13 rebounds against BYU on Saturday. Against the Aggies in the regional final she provided the spark after the Huskies found themselves in an early hole.

Her play made up for the slow start of American Athletic Conference player of the year Breanna Stewart, who got into early foul trouble and scored just two of her 13 points in the first half.

The Aggies had shot 60 percent in their 84-65 win over DePaul on Saturday, their best mark ever in an NCAA tournament game. They hit 28.9 percent the first half while falling behind 34-23 against UConn and finished at 35.3 percent for the game.

The Aggies had won their first three games in the tournament by 15 points or more, but they ran into a UConn club that was just too powerful, whether in transition or in the paint.

The Aggies made their first six shots of the second half to cut into UConn's 11-point halftime lead. Jones hit a pair of 3s, and after she drove to the hoop on Jefferson, A&M was within 40-37.

The Huskies cranked up their transition game, went on a 10-0 spurt and outscored the Aggies 27-12 to build their lead to 18 points in the final 3 minutes. No team has played UConn closer than 11 points this season.

The Aggies broke out to an 11-4 lead - matching the biggest deficit UConn has faced this season - before Mosqueda-Lewis made her presence known.

Mosqueda-Lewis fed Dolson for an easy basket to start a 26-6 UConn run. Hartley scored twice off Jefferson's long passes, Mosqueda-Lewis hit a couple 3s and showed what she could do inside when she took an inbound pass and drove the baseline for a left-handed layup.

Jefferson slipped a pass to Dolson for a reverse layup and then drove the hoop and hit a 3 of her own to put the Huskies up 30-17.

Courtney Walker ended a five-minute scoring drought with three straight jumpers, but nothing symbolized the night more than Kiah Stokes' block of Achiri Ade's shot just ahead of the halftime buzzer.

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